To be played on Saturday 1st March 2014 at 15:00. Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool.
Last season: 2-0
Preview & injury news
Everton go into this game in the rather unfamiliar position this season of being below Manchester United in the table, but they have played a game less and avoiding defeat here will mean they will reclaim sixth spot against a West Ham United side that is in terrific form. The Hammers looked to be in a spot of bother only a matter of weeks ago but have won each of their last four league games to lift themselves up to 10th in the table. For the home side, their form has been patchy of late having lost three of their last four games, though the three games they have lost have been against title contenders or rivals for fourth place, and they will be hoping to bounce back with a win this weekend. They currently sit 11 points behind fourth place having played a game less, so for them to have any chance of making a terrific comeback to finish in the Champions League places, they simply must win this weekend.
On the injury front, Everton have received a blow with Phil Jagielka missing out because of a hamstring injury, whilst loan signing Lacina Traore will also miss out with a similar problem. There is the possibility that Traore's loan move from Monaco could be cancelled if he needs to have surgery on the problem. Antolin Alcaraz could be available for Roberto Martinez's men whilst Romelu Lukaku is nearing full fitness after being sidelined with an ankle injury he picked up in the Merseyside derby in January.
For West Ham, their injury list is relatively short compared to the vast amount of players they've had at other stages of this season. Ricardo Vaz Te is still sidelined with a hamstring problem whilst Marco Borriello has the same injury and is thought to be at least another week away. Joey O'Brien is continuing his recovery from a dislocated shoulder which he sustained last month.
Here are the two sides top scorers in the league this season:
|Kevin Nolan||West Ham||MF||7||23||1,873|
|Carlton Cole||West Ham||FW||6||17||718|
Their average possession statistics:
|West Ham United||41.70||27|
And the amount of clean sheets they have kept this term
|West Ham United||13||27|
5 players to watch
Leighton Baines - Baines had the biggest say on the reverse fixture and he's been in pretty good defensive form of late as well. Can the left-back have the same effect on this fixture as he did at Upton Park, or will he be lauded for his defensive efforts this time?
Kevin Nolan - Inevitably with West Ham's upturn in form, Kevin Nolan has hit the goal trail and is performing very well. When the Hammers' attacking threat works well, Nolan is usually a big part of it, so don't be surprised if they're firing again, that Nolan has a big part to play in it.
Romelu Lukaku - The big Belgian striker returns for his first start since he picked up an ankle injury in the Merseyside derby, and with Lacina Traore sidelined, it's probably the perfect time for Everton. Can he show the early season form that made him one of the most feared strikers in the league on his return?
James Tomkins - The heart of the Hammers defence has been pretty solid this season, even though they have flirted with the relegation zone, but they will be put to the test against a very positive Everton side. Is it one that Tomkins and the rest of the West Ham back line can stand?
John Stones - With no Phil Jagielka, it gives a great chance for John Stones to come in and show what he can do. He has looked a very composed defender on the ball, and good positionally, so he should slot into the side relatively easily, though Jagielka's absence is a big loss.
Earlier on in the season
West Ham United 2-3 Everton, September 2013
A terrific game as Everton came from behind twice to take all three points from Upton Park. Ravel Morrison gave the hosts the lead on the half hour mark after his effort was deflected in off Phil Jagileka. Romelu Lukaku was introduced at half time but it was Leighton Baines who got the Toffees back level after a terrific free kick. The home side's lead was restored 15 minutes from time when Mark Noble despatched a penalty after James McCarthy's foul on Kevin Nolan. Noble was subsequently sent off for a second bookable offence, and it was from the resulting free-kick that allowed Baines to equalise for a second time. There was still time for a winner as Lukaku headed from Kevin Mirallas's cross, with the big Belgian getting a knock on the head for his troubles, and gave all three points to the visitors.